Law & Order (season 15)
|Law & Order (season 15)|
Season 15 U.S. DVD Cover
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||24|
|Original release||September 22, 2004– May 18, 2005|
Cast and crew changes
In May 2004, it was announced that Dennis Farina would be replacing Jerry Orbach (Detective Lennie Briscoe) as Detective Joe Fontana. Having moved over to the third Law & Order spin-off, Law & Order: Trial by Jury, Orbach only filmed two episodes of the series before his death in December 2004.
Assistant District Attorney Serena Southerlyn, played by Elisabeth Röhm, became the first ADA to reach her fourth season on Law & Order. However, mid-way through the season it was announced that Röhm wanted to depart the series. Röhm said to MSNBC, "If I had stayed, I don’t think it would have made much sense, and as much as I loved the show I personally had to kind of kick myself out of the crib." she continued, "It was very hard for me to make the decision because my managers and agents wanted me to not even do any of this season." Röhm's last episode was "Ain't No Love" wherein her characters comes out as a lesbian towards the end of the episode.
In December 2004, it was announced that Röhm was replaced by Annie Parisse who began portraying Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Borgia with the episode "Fluency". Parisse said, "I'm so excited to be a part of such a great show. I had so much fun when I did an episode a couple years ago and I'm really looking forward to working with everyone on a regular basis." Creator Dick Wolf said of the casting, "Annie is a terrific actress, and her new character (Alexandra Borgia) is an exotic beauty whose looks belie the fact that she is usually the smartest person in the room."
Days prior to the news of Annie Parisse joining the cast, it was announced that Jesse L. Martin (Detective Ed Green) would be departing the cast to film Rent. Martin said about his departure, "I am very grateful to everyone at Wolf Films and NBC Universal Television, especially Dick Wolf and Jeff Zucker, for allowing me this once in a lifetime opportunity, I'm going to miss Dennis (Farina), Epatha (Merkerson) and the rest of the cast and crew, and I can't wait to return next year." Dick Wolf added, "For the past six years, Jesse has been an 'actor's actor', an incredible performer, total professional and he is liked by everyone. He had an opportunity to reprise a career-making role that is very important to him, and we wanted to make it work. We look forward to his return to "Law & Order" for season 16." Martin's last episode of the season was "Tombstone" (a crossover episode with Law & Order: Trial by Jury, episode "Skeleton") where Green is shot.
Martin was replaced by Michael Imperioli who portrayed Detective Nick Falco starting with the episode "Publish and Perish" until the season finale episode. Imperioli said about his character, Falco, "The character I'm playing on Law & Order, has a real passion for making the world safe and making the city safe for people. He wants to make sure that the bad guys go to jail and that justice wins out and I think he grew up with that reverence and lives with it."
Roz Weinman is show runner/executive produce with Eric Overmyer over Matthew Penn and Peter Jankowski. Weinman and Overmyer depart the series at the end of the season, replaced by Walon Green and Nicholas Wootton in season 16.
Season fifteen is available on DVD. Initially, it was only available as part of the Law & Order: The Complete Series DVD boxed set, released in November 2011. It was later released separately on November 4, 2014.
|Actor||Character||Main cast||Recurring cast|
|Dennis Farina||Joe Fontana||entire season||N/A|
|Jesse L. Martin||Ed Green||episodes 1-20||N/A|
|Michael Imperioli||Nick Falco||episodes 21-24||N/A|
|S. Epatha Merkerson||Anita Van Buren||entire season||N/A|
|Sam Waterston||E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy||entire season||N/A|
|Elisabeth Röhm||A.D.A. Serena Southerlyn||episodes 1-13||N/A|
|Annie Parisse||A.D.A. Alexandra Borgia||episodes 14-24||N/A|
|Fred Dalton Thompson||D.A. Arthur Branch||entire season||N/A|
|Dann Florek||Capt. Don Cragen||N/A||episode 11|
|Carolyn McCormick||Elizabeth Olivet||N/A||episode 6|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Production
|326||1||"Paradigm"||Matthew Penn||Teleplay by: Richard Sweren
Story by: Dick Wolf
|September 22, 2004||E5301||18.86|
Detective Joe Fontana transfers to the 27th precinct, a stylish veteran uneasily paired with Detective Green when a former female Guardsman from the second Gulf War is found murdered -- and evidence points to the vengeful Iraqi sister of an ex-inmate at infamous Abu Ghraib prison. However, when D.A.s McCoy and Southerlyn begin to prosecute, they discover that the suspect's lawyer boldly plans to defend his client as an "enemy soldier" -- subject only to the terms of the Geneva Convention.
|327||2||"The Dead Wives Club"||David Platt||Nick Santora||September 22, 2004||E5307||15.39|
|When a woman is found dead after a ferry collides with a Manhattan dock, Detectives Fontana and Green become suspicious when they learn that the victim sustained a blow to the head and was seen in the water just before the accident, and the likely suspect is the ex-wife of a firefighter who left her to marry a rich "9/11" widow. But EADA McCoy soon learns that the defendant's crafty lawyer intends to position her as a victim of post-traumatic stress syndrome owing to 9/11, meaning that McCoy has to overcome extreme emotions common to every New Yorker.|
|328||3||"The Brotherhood"||Jean de Segonzac||Teleplay by: Alfredo Barrios, Jr.
Story by: Wendy Battles & Alfredo Barrios, Jr.
|September 29, 2004||E5304||12.94|
|When a prison gang puts out a contract on a Sing Sing corrections officer and his family, assigning the job to a newly released ex-con, the terrified officer pleads preemptive self-defense after he's brought to trial for the parolee's murder. As the trial proceeds, the gang attempts to affect the outcome of the case by sending a death threat to the presiding judge, who refuses to be intimidated. Shortly after the conclusion of the trial, McCoy discovers that the defendant's fears about the power and the reach of the gang were well-placed.|
|329||4||"Coming Down Hard"||Richard Dobbs||Davey Holmes||October 6, 2004||E5308||12.51|
|When two college students take flying leaps to their deaths, Detectives Fontana and Green discover that both students were participants in a secret testing program on a new anti-depressant run by a large drug manufacturer that has yielded a high rate of suicides, and more attempted suicides. EADA McCoy decides to vigorously pursue the CEO of the pharmaceutical firm for second-degree murder but his case hinges on convincing the judge to admit guarded clinical trial info.|
|330||5||"Gunplay"||Constantine Makris||William N. Fordes & Lois Johnson||October 20, 2004||E5306||13.07|
|The NYPD gears up to find the cop-killers who murdered two officers during an illegal firearms buy-and-bust sting, putting Detectives Fontana and Green on the trail of two suspects as Green risks his life to pose as a gun buyer, to gather evidence on the gun dealers. They soon discover the killers were tipped off to the victims' identities by a website displaying photos of undercover cops. Turns out the website is financed by a vengeful defense attorney (Isiah Whitlock, Jr.) whose criminal stepson was killed by the police; and now claims that he is protected by the First Amendment as McCoy and Southerlyn prepare to prosecute. McCoy is able to connect the hit men to the attorney who paid them to avenge the death of his gun-running stepson at the hands of the same detectives during a similar buy-and-bust several years earlier.|
|331||6||"Cut"||Richard Dobbs||Wendy Battles||October 27, 2004||E5302||13.23|
|After a bestselling pulp-fiction novelist is found dead in her hotel bathroom, Detectives Fontana and Green investigate and discover that the deceased recently had a liposuction operation performed by a careless plastic surgeon (Bruce Altman). EADA McCoy decides whether or not the case should be pursued in civil, not criminal court. But when District Attorney Branch sees a recurring thread of negligence in the doctor's past, McCoy files charges and bases much of his argument on the fact that the obsessed victim's many beauty procedures required psychological counseling that her greedy surgeon never suggested.|
|332||7||"Gov Love"||Michael Pressman||Richard Sweren & Ross Berger||November 10, 2004||E5313||15.15|
|In a controversial episode torn from recent headlines, Detectives Fontana and Green follow the sensational murder of the wife of Connecticut Governor Riordan (Robin Thomas), but their spadework turns up a corrupt developer (as Kaplan, Zeljko Ivanek) whose business and romantic links to Riordan cause the official to step down in shame. However, EADA McCoy is stymied when he can't get a third man (Jeremy Webb) to testify against the crooked business exec after he claims to have already married him, forcing the dogged McCoy to take the crucial gay marriage issue before the state's supreme court and Kaplan's defense attorney (Chris Sarandon).|
|333||8||"Cry Wolf"||Don Scardino||Nick Santora & Lorenzo Carcaterra||November 17, 2004||E5312||13.80|
|A street thug-turned-radio personality (Jose Zuniga) who had a penchant for attracting headlines through "publicity stunt muggings" is thought to be faking again when he's shot and almost killed. However, when other bodies start to stack up, Detectives Fontana and Green now must believe the danger is for real, they begin to believe his story after they discover that the married jock was involved with a mobster's mistress.|
|334||9||"All in the Family"||Jace Alexander||William N. Fordes||November 24, 2004||E5303||12.62|
|After four people, including tourists, are shot dead on the same sidewalk, Detectives Fontana and Green learn that one was a philandering jeweler with criminal ties to the Russian mob who was cooperating with federal authorities, until someone close to the victim "ratted him out." In the meantime, the investigators find the hitmen, but EADA McCoy must wrestle with the federal prosecutor over jurisdiction; and both cases might hinge on the fact that the jeweler was an Orthodox Jew.|
|335||10||"Enemy"||Richard Dobbs||Alfredo Barrios, Jr.||December 1, 2004||E5314||14.71|
|In the bloody wake of a massacre of heroin dealers, Detectives Fontana and Green track through a list of international criminals until they target their primary suspect, a drug-dealing Afghan warlord (as Khaleel, Christopher Maher) who's aided U.S. forces in Afghanistan and claims diplomatic immunity. But EADA McCoy and ADA Southerlyn fearlessly prosecute despite State Department pressure and a defense lawyer who claims his Afghan client was forced to push drugs in order to maintain his cover, and ultimately continue to aid American military efforts.|
|336||11||"Fixed"||Ed Sherin||Roz Weinman & Eric Overmyer||December 8, 2004||E5311||15.69|
When a convicted child murderer (David Groh) is struck and left for dead by a motorist just weeks after his prison release, Detectives Fontana and Green are not enthused about finding out who ran him over. When the murderer dies, they look inside the prison where he served his sentence, and they find evidence that leads EADA Jack McCoy to make a startling discovery.
|337||12||"Mammon"||Jace Alexander||William N. Fordes & Douglas Stark||January 5, 2005||E5316||14.28|
|Not long after a wealthy venture capitalist is found slain in his spacious home, Detectives Fontana and Green suspect the victim's feckless young wife (as Marley, Andrea Roth), as well as the handsome contractor (as Tremont, Daniel Sunjata) who installed the security system and was romantically dallying with the wannabe widow. On the legal side, DA's McCoy and Southerlyn seek to turn the cheating wife against her ex-beau, but the bad boy's many "alibi girlfriends" and a second unexpected crime severely hamstring their prosecution.|
|338||13||"Ain't No Love"||Paris Barclay||Richard Sweren & Lois Johnson||January 12, 2005||E5315||14.69|
Detectives Fontana and Green move to the beat of hip-hop when a legendary rapper is shot to death and evidence points to the victim's young protege (as Shawn, Sean Nelson) who was known to be cutting his own music on bootlegged street CD's, and more clues can be found in one song's lyrics that describe a similar killing. As police tie in another previous murder, DA's McCoy and Southerlyn seek the e-mail addresses from a thuggish record label's web site that could unlock the case, even as the two prosecutors clash over admissible facts, as the investigation unfolds, Southerlyn's opinions put her sharply at odds with both McCoy and Branch, the latter of whom begins to feel that Southerlyn is not cut out to work in the DA's office.
|339||14||"Fluency"||Matthew Penn||Nick Santora||January 19, 2005||E5318||15.12|
When nine afflicted people suddenly die, Detectives Fontana and Green discover that the victims were injected with fake flu vaccine that did not protect them, leading the police to arrest a career con man (Rob Sedgwick) who's counterfeited everything, including what should have been life-saving vaccine. But while EADA Jack McCoy is getting over the departure of ADA Southerlyn, he is joined by confident new Assistant D.A. Alexandra Borgia, who boldly promises justice to the victims' relatives that will be difficult for the prosecutor to fulfill after vital search warrant evidence is tossed out.
|340||15||"Obsession"||Constantine Makris||Wendy Battles & Alfredo Barrios, Jr.||February 9, 2005||E5319||13.16|
|After a controversial and conservative talk show host is shot to death, Detectives Fontana and Green consider a wealth of likely suspects but focus on Miranda (Paula Devicq), who would inherit his estate only upon death, as well as on Karen (Dana Eskelson), a tormented woman who claims she had an affair with the new widow. As new ADA Borgia sizes up the case, she finds disturbing evidence that Karen was stalking the widow, whose secret love life yields a treasure trove of evidence.|
|341||16||"The Sixth Man"||David Platt||Teleplay by: Lois Johnson
Story by: Lois Johnson & Richard Sweren
|February 16, 2005||E5321||13.73|
|When a loner is found strangled to death in his rent-controlled apartment, Detectives Fontana and Green focus on both the victim's gambling habit and the building's owner who wants to convert it into a co-op, but the cops hit paydirt when they discover the dead man's nasty running feud with a spoiled pro basketball player. When the detectives find the athlete's fingerprints at the scene, prosecutors McCoy and Borgia must fight to keep the evidence from being tossed out on a technicality.|
|342||17||"License to Kill"||Constantine Makris||Richard Sweren & Stuart Feldman||February 23, 2005||E5322||14.54|
|After a wild car chase through Manhattan's streets leaves one man dead and a teen injured, Detectives Fontana and Green connect some dots and discover that the chase began in upstate New York after a hunting party was massacred by the now deceased driver, but finding the man who chased the murderer puts prosecutors in a bind. As the reluctant hero (as Stoller, Mike Pniewski) is publicly lauded for his efforts, prosecutors McCoy and Borgia carefully make their case that his poor decisions only endangered other lives.|
|343||18||"Dining Out"||Jean de Segonzac||Davey Holmes||March 2, 2005||E5317||14.66|
|When a TV network executive is found murdered, Detectives Fontana and Green suspect twins who were stealing from the organization until they discover a celebrity chef with whom the married victim shared an affair. The nimble and charming chef is adroit at cultivating relationships with judges and juries alike, but prosecutor McCoy intends to reveal that the suspect's cooking show was about to be canceled by his late lover.|
|344||19||"Sects"||Richard Dobbs||Frank Pugliese||March 30, 2005||E5324||13.49|
|Detectives Fontana and Green are repulsed when they investigate the murder of a woman by a suicidal young man (Austin Lysy) and discover a cult which encourages adult-child sexual relations, and prosecutor Borgia is determined to nail the mesmerizing but formidable woman (Deborah Hedwall) who heads it. Aided by fellow EADA McCoy, Borgia traces a string of suicides from the surviving youths and searches for a secretive "Book of Daniel" that could wipe out the perverted sect forever.|
|345||20||"Tombstone"||Eric Stoltz||Rick Eid||April 13, 2005||E5325||16.85|
When a promiscuous young lawyer is found bludgeoned to death in her office, Detectives Fontana and Green investigate her former lovers at the high-powered law firm until DNA evidence points to one attorney Ron Drexler (Paul Fitzgerald) who was in the office at the time of the murder. When evidence is dismissed by a judge, and a shocking crime takes place, EADA McCoy must leverage clout against a senior partner Nathan Fogg (Fritz Weaver) who is the suspect's alibi, as well as the subject of a Securities Exchange investigation, and in the midst of the case, one of the 27th precinct's own's life, hangs in the balance.
|346||21||"Publish and Perish"||Constantine Makris||Tom Szentgyorgi||April 20, 2005||E5328||14.33|
The murders of an infamous porn actress and a maverick publisher, Devries (Randy Graff) plunge Detectives Fontana and his temporary partner Nick Falco (Michael Imperioli) into a sensational case that spirals upward to an ambitious and powerful police commissioner (Kevin Dunn) who's up for the nation's top security post. But as District Attorney Branch warns, McCoy and the police must tread lightly given the high-profile players, especially when they discover a more intimate link.
|347||22||"Sport of Kings"||Michael Pressman||Teleplay by: Richard Sweren & Wendy Battles
Story by: Richard Sweren, Nick Santora & Wendy Battles
|May 4, 2005||E5323||11.70|
|The shooting death of a Panamanian horse jockey puts Detectives Fontana and Falco on the track of a pack of colorful suspects who inhabit the competitive racing world, forcing them to nudge jockeys, trainers, and even a rich owner; to discover who would murder the rider over his desire to ride one particular horse. However, their probe reveals that the victim challenged the registry and selling details of the prized three-year-old, leading the cops and EADA McCoy to a corporate head who bought the thoroughbred with stolen funds.|
|348||23||"In God We Trust"||David Platt||Richard Sweren||May 11, 2005||E5326||12.22|
|Detectives Fontana and Falco arrest an arsonist after a blaze killed a fireman, and discover a charred pistol that leads them to re-open a cold case murder of an African-American. Their remorseful prime suspect (Jim True-Frost) not only confesses but pleads not guilty due to his newfound faith and changed life. Even the skeptical EADA McCoy cannot ignore the "Clayton motion" filed by the defense attorney that asks for the case to be dismissed while church and public support build for the former racist who has worked hard for children's charities in the years since.|
|349||24||"Locomotion"||Matthew Penn||Teleplay by: Eric Overmyer
Story by: Roz Weinman
|May 18, 2005||E5329||12.41|
A commuter train is violently derailed when it strikes an SUV parked on the tracks, resulting in 12 deaths, leaving Detectives Fontana and Falco sifting through massive debris, until they lock onto a depressed construction worker who maintains he only intended to commit suicide, not homicide. EADA McCoy can't wait to get his hands on the case but his grip gets more slippery when the accused's attorney hints at an insanity defense, and the suspect later shocks everyone in court.
Notes and references
- The spin-off Law & Order: Trial by Jury premiered this season; it featured Jerry Orbach reprising his role as Lennie Briscoe in his final television appearances before his death in 2004. The episode "Tombstone" is the first half of a cross-over with Law & Order: Trial by Jury episode "Skeleton".
- Chung, Jen (May 4, 2004). "Dennis Farina To Law & Order?". Gothamist. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- Burstein, Jessica (December 29, 2004). "‘Law & Order’ star Jerry Orbach dies". MSNBC. Retrieved August 2, 2002.
- Balthazar, Brian (January 25, 2005). "‘Law & Order’ star looking forward to new roles". MSNBC. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "Annie Parisse Joins Cast of Wolf Films/NBC Universal's Emmy-Winning 'Law & Order' as New Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Borgia". The Futon Critic. December 4, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "Emmy-Winning Actor Michael Imperioli ('The Sopranos') to Fill in for Jesse L. Martin for Several Episodes of 'Law & Order' While Martin Stars in Film Version of 'Rent'". The Futon Critic. December 2, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "Michael Imperioli ("The Sopranos") to Fill in for Jesse L. Martin of NBC's "Law & Order" Beginning April 20, 10-11pm ET/PT". The Futon Critic. April 19, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 09/20/04 THROUGH 09/26/04". ABC Medianet. September 29, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 09/27/04 THROUGH 10/03/04". ABC Medianet. October 5, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 10/04/04 THROUGH 10/10/04". ABC Medianet. October 12, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 10/18/04 THROUGH 10/24/04". ABC Medianet. October 26, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 10/25/04 THROUGH 10/31/04". ABC Medianet. November 2, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 11/08/04 THROUGH 11/14/04". ABC Medianet. November 16, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 11/15/04 THROUGH 11/21/04". ABC Medianet. November 23, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 11/22/04 THROUGH 11/28/04". ABC Medianet. November 30, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 11/29/04 THROUGH 12/05/04". ABC Medianet. December 7, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 12/06/04 THROUGH 12/12/04". ABC Medianet. December 14, 2004. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 01/03/05 THROUGH 01/09/05". ABC Medianet. January 11, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- TV Guide December 5-11, 2005 pg. 18.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 01/10/05 THROUGH 01/16/05". ABC Medianet. January 19, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 01/17/05 THROUGH 01/23/05". ABC Medianet. January 25, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 02/07/05 THROUGH 02/13/05". ABC Medianet. February 15, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 02/14/05 THROUGH 02/20/05". ABC Medianet. February 23, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 02/21/05 THROUGH 02/27/05". ABC Medianet. March 1, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 02/28/05 THROUGH 03/06/05". ABC Medianet. March 8, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 03/28/05 THROUGH 04/03/05". ABC Medianet. April 5, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 04/11/05 THROUGH 04/17/05". ABC Medianet. April 19, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 04/18/05 THROUGH 04/24/05". ABC Medianet. April 26, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 05/02/05 THROUGH 05/08/05". ABC Medianet. May 10, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 05/09/05 THROUGH 05/15/05". ABC Medianet. May 17, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "WEEKLY PROGRAM RANKINGS FROM 05/16/05 THROUGH 05/22/05". ABC Medianet. May 24, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
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